ISO, Musicians Reach Deal To End Lockout
Deal means reduced pay for musicians; symphony must raise $5 million by Feb. 3, 2013 or rest of deal is off
ISO musicians held musical pickets outside Hilbert Circle Theater during the lockout. (WIBC.com file photo)
The lockout is over for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Now, the symphony society and muscians have less than four months to raise a lot of money to avoid another work stoppage.
Listen to Ray Steele's Report from Indy's Afternoon News:
The deal struck between the ISO and the local musician's union gets musicians back on stage after more than a month of performances were canceled. The contract was announced jointly by the Society and Local #3 of the American Federation of Musicians and calls for a "bridge agreement" to run through February 3, 2013, with a subsequent deal running from February 4 through September, 2017.
The short-term "bridge" contract puts the orchestra back to work immediately, but it also calls for $5 million in funding from new donors to be raised by the end of the bridge term. If that doesn't happen, union negotiator Rick Graef says the remainder of the contract is void, and the two sides will go back to the bargaining table. He and symphony spokeswoman Jessica DiSanto both expressed confidence that the $5 million fundraising goal would be met.
Pay for musicians will be cut by 32-percent during the first year of the deal in an effort to put an end to the symphony's budget deficits. Salaries will range from $53,000 in year one to $70,000 in last year of the contract, and health benefits will continue as will most pension benefits.
A joint press release says the ISO will ask the public "to rise to the occasion and contribute significantly to the Orchestra’s fundraising efforts." The society's goal is to raise at least 50-percent more than the $6.5 million it receives each year in gifts - that's if it gets the $5 million it needs by next February.